Tools to take control
Window, door and glass companies are experts in spotting new business opportunities, which can be maximised with the right software, according to Ron Crowl, general manager at Cyncly.
Window fabricators are not strangers to advances in technology and machinery, with investment in these areas key to delivering high-end products to discerning customers.
According to Ron Crowl, general manager at Cyncly, this puts them at an advantage as the industry continues to adapt to new market challenges, and it is the responsibility of their suppliers to provide the tools to succeed.
“Talking to our customers in the window, door and glass industry is always rewarding, because these companies have continued to develop their product ranges and methods of working to provide their customers the best products at the best price,” Ron says. “Where we have to step up to the plate, as a leading provider of software solutions, is to help them identify the challenges of tomorrow, and deliver solutions that will help them thrive.”
Ron argues that many different external forces place different pressures on a window company, all of which need to be managed. In some cases, these challenges can be turned into opportunities if the right support network is in place.
“Right at the top of that list is the trend for increased online enterprise,” Ron says. “Homeowners are conducting more of their research and purchasing online, which is encouraging increasing numbers of window companies to move more of their operations in the virtual space.
“With the right software tools, we can help create a single journey from quote, to order, to design processing, to the factory floor, to dispatch, and ultimately back to the homeowner.
“At each point, you are reducing the need for double entry, which removes human intervention, and reduces the possibility of errors. You are also speeding up the processes, which can help window fabricators meet their promises for shorter lead times.”
From this initial software-driven framework, other processes and efficiencies can be built in, which can offer further benefits, Ron explains. These can include tracking orders through a factory, managing stock levels, closer communication with suppliers.
“This isn’t about what software can do, it is about what our customers want to achieve, and how we can help them do that most efficiently,” Ron says. “Many companies have already invested in high-end machinery, such as cutting and prepping centres, welders, corner cleaners, and bead saws. We are creating solutions that help them maximise the potential that investment offers.”
The move to greater automation within the window, door and glass industry is a strategic response by companies to overcome external pressures.
For example, as window retail companies look for a single supplier of window products, window fabricators are adding in new production lines across PVC-U and aluminium in response. This in turn requires larger or multiple premises, greater stockholding, and more employees.
“Where companies are scaling up to meet the requirements of their customers, they are exposing themselves to increased costs that could put pressure on their cash flow,” Ron says. “Stock control is an excellent case in point. If you are introducing new product lines, in multiple systems, in a wide range of colours, then you have to allocate space in your warehouse for the stock required to make them. And you are talking about profile, gaskets, glass, hardware – all of which ties up money in stock.
“Cyncly provides the digital intelligence to speed up fabrication, reduce waste, reduce stock holding, reduce reliance on human intervention, improve profit margins, and put the business on a secure footing to win new business.”
Cyncly’s brands include First Degree Systems, SoftTech, FeneTech, and Contract ERP. Together, they provide a suite of software products that process window and door designs, manage stock levels, support customer relationships, track orders from quote to delivery, integrate business functions, and much more.